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Athena Society

Different methods have been used at different institutions of higher learning to recognize academic achievements during college years. In 1910 certain members of the faculty of the College of Emporia decided to establish an organization to stimulate and recognize such achievements. They selected the name Athena Society. The first alumni members were elected by the faculty from the 1910 graduating class. The members of the faculty at that time became charter members of the organization. In 1915 the Athena Society voted to also recognize the alumni of exceptional scholarship in the graduating classes between 1889 and 1910. Using the compiled list of those students honored for outstanding scholarship between 1889 and 1973 (which may include not only Athena members, but in some years also include those recognized Summa cum laude, Magna cum Laude, and Cum Laude), 374 names appear.

Some items included in the original constitution and by-laws were:

(1) Student must do full work in residence during at least last two years of college course.

(2) Members will be elected by Athena members of the faculty.

(3) No more than 1/7th of those receiving degrees in any one year shall be elected to membership.

(4) There would be an annual meeting held during Commencement week at which time officers would be elected President, Vice President, & Secretary Treasurer.

(5) Membership was conditional upon payment of a fee of $5.00.

A booklet printed in 1921 indicated some changes:

(1) No more than 1/4th of those receiving degrees in any one year shall be elected to membership.

(2) Public recognition was given to those graduating with honors by printing the names in the commencement program.

(3) Name of student holding highest scholarship record for four years in college, as shown by the Registrar‚ books, is engraved on Athena cup.

(4) Highest scholarship was recorded as, summa cum laude; next highest, magna cum laude; and others, cum laude.

(5) Annual banquets, with scholarly addresses from successful leaders, were held at which time new members were welcomed.

Here are some interesting facts about the Athena Society which were gleaned from the booklet which was printed about 1957.

(1)  Twenty-one faculty members became Life Members of the Athena: Mary Kerr, D.C. Schaffner, Clara B. Wilkie, Raymond F. Miller, Beulah Altman, Wayne Granger, Conrad Vandervelde, Alma E. White, C.F. Little, J.H. Lawrence, Laura E. Meier, Harold Spiker, Margaret Lindsay, F.R. Flournoy, Bess Potter Smith, M.V. McFerrin, Paul B. McCleave, Mariette Simpson, Mrs. N.R. Eppink, Margaret Mangrum, Luther E. Sharpe.

(2)  The classes of 1925, 1926, and 1927 had 12 students inducted into Athena Society, while booklet indicated that no student in the Class of 1955 was elected.

(3)  Several familiar names include: Esther Mergler Sloan (1928); Orlo Choguill (1926); Margaret Frances Patton Spencer (1931), wife of Dr. Harold Spencer, mother of Dr. John Spencer and Sharon Spencer Stewart, Athena inductee in 1965; Conrad Vandervelde,faculty Life Time member and his daughter Cornelia Vandervelde Fields (1933); Leslie Anders (1949) and his daughter Charlotte Anders Wilson (1968). Leslie Anders was guest speaker at 1st Honors Banquet held at Broadview Hotel in 1958.

Daniel Schaffner, class of 1898, was the star end on the first C of E football team, member of C of E faculty beginning in 1902, acting president of the college, football field named after him, and his daughter Martha Schaffner Ihde was elected to Athena Society in 1935; W. V. McFerrin, Physics professor, was life time member and his daughter, Lois McFerrin Athon was elected 1946.

Several living members of Athena Society related that they received a medal when elected to the Athena Society. None of these living members told of attending any meetings, so we could assume that the society was not an active organization in the later years.


These members were present at the 2010 College of Emporia reunion in Kansas City. They include:

Dr. Andreas Vikis ''64; Theodorus Vernardakis ''64; Lorene Small Frazell ''57; Daniel Hudson ''66; Allen Gill ''69; Verla Hoke Howland ''58; Gary Monnard ''67; Barbara Roenigk Hart ''54; Ken Miller ''60; Lorena Herrmann Brown ''47; L.J. Corcoran ''64; Harriet Adamson Wilkins ''59; Sharon Spencer Stewart ''65.

Faculty Life Members

Mary Kerr, D. C. Schaffner, Clara B. Wilkie, Raymond F. Miller, Beulah Altman, Wayne Granger, Conrad Vandervelde, Alma E. White, C. F. Little, J. H. Lawrence, Laura E. Meier, Harold Spiker, Margaret Lindsey, F. R. Flourney, Bess Potter Smith, M. C. McFerrin, Paul B. McCleave, Mariette Simpson, Mrs. N. R. Eppink, Margaret Mangrum, Luther W. Sharpe

Athena Society Members 1889 - 1899

1889 - William J. Coulson; 1890 - James D. Barnett;  1892 - Vernon C. Bayers, Vernon Parrington, Clement E. Ward; 1893 - Thomas Barrier, David S. Hibberd, Franklin C. Everett, William S. Morley;  1894 -William S. Carle, Jay C. Everett, Ethel Page Westwood; 1895 - Margaret Schaffner, Edward P. Shier, Samuel I. Ward; 1896 - Sadie B. Mann, Theodora Marshall, Harry H. Pratt, Drury H. Fisher, Zechariah L. Hess; 1897 - Isabella C. Barnett, William H. Foulkes, Mary L. Mack, Myrta L. Wiley; 1898 - John H. Lamb; 1899 - Winifred Barnett, Augusta U. Bradbury;

Athena Society Members 1900 - 1909

1900 - Charles S.Lawrence, Alice S. Marshall; 1901 - O. M. Davis, Howard L. Kerr, Harry Markley; 1902 - Chester Dudley, Francis M. McCabe, W. G. Patten, Pelagius Williams; 1903 - Susie E. Dellinger, Helen V. Marshall, Mabel (Toy) Davis, Carolyn I. Woodrow; 1904 - Donald E. McCroy; 1905 - Florence Beatty, Cora Beatty, Fay F. Smith, Clayton Fullington, Chester G. Fuson, Charles J. Hilkey; 1906 - John D. Bigger, Howell P. Lair, Mary L. Kepler; 1907 - William S. Culbertson, Helen Elcock, Edward G. Miller; 1908 - Rice Brown, Hellen Lockwood (Fleming), Wayne S. Snoddy; 1909 - Mary Dixon, Bertha Lockwood (Miller), Curtis N. Taylor, Eula Sleeth Thomas.

Athena Society members 1910 - 1919

1910 - Louise Blair, Mary (Braden) Altman, Helen Haynes, Vivian (Sawhill) Perkins; 1911 - Eleanor Morrison, Mary (Bowman) Carl, Leo Bracken, Ethel (Koeber) Williams, Clair (Bracken) Boyle, Ethel (Becker) Brooks; 1912 - Della (Ross) Pease, Helen (Willis) Wilson, John Ross, Ruth (Thomas) Bradbury, Beulah (Park) Covert, Clara Altman, Elsie (Rhodes) Torry, Jennie (Bartram) Cannady, Nellie (Records) Foshay; 1913 - Linnie (Marshall) Suddock, Alice (Bigger) Peacock, Charlotte Curry, Walter Palmer; 1914 - John Bracken, Wihelmina (Baugher) Droege, Lettie (Pabst) Little, Alice (Harclerode) Bright, Mildred (Knight) Evans, Ruth (Bracken) McQuesten; 1915 - Herbert Strickler, Sadie (Buck) Shillington, Mamie (Snoddy) Higgs, Edith Haynes, Laura Soper, Katherine Nelligan, Jessie Shillington; 1916 - Noel Keys, Lola (Oden) Thompson, Edna (Peel) Ernst, Margaret (Cross) Russell, Margaret (Davis) Templeton, Leia (Monahan) West; 1917 - Kathleen Lowther, Jessie Wells, Mabel Ruth (King)  Browne, Ivan Wright, Mary Alta (Peterson) Adams, Maurice Waugh, Ethel Evans, John Townley, Eugene Lehman, Ruth Hettinger, Margaret Niesley; 1918 - Olive (Wood) Copa, Josephine (McAulis) Wilson, Margaret Cummings, Rachel (Owens) Wood; 1919 - Catherine (Simson) Cave, William L. Cook, Esther (Angell) Jones, Harris Hilscher, Edwin Elcock, Mildred (Peterson) Farris.

Athena Society Members 1920 - 1929

1920 - Ella (Christie) Lake, John Kuller, Irene Widick, Opal (Thompson) Perkins, Gladys (Hilscher) Jones, Wayne Davidson, Agnes (Haney) Stephens, Julia (Miller) Marshall, Mabel (Clark) Cannady; 1921 - George Ranson, Mabel (Hughbanks) Stormfels, Mary (Bergner) Hilands, Raymond C. Miller, Dorothea (Clark) Barrier, Nira (Hamilton) Brigham, Ethell Treton, Ruth (Lynn) Scott, Henry Taylor;  1922 - Lawrence Newburn, Lettie Swarner, Buell McIntosh, Roy D. Spear, Ruth (Newburn) Mendel, Velva Dreese, Mildred McKee; 1923 - Pearl (Mitchell) Pickens, Lois K. (Roberts) Hedge, Frances (Eastborn) McCormick, Helen E. Marshall, Florence (Engle) Zook, Ruth (Day) Moses, Glen Lehmann, Gladys (Scott) Barker, Arthur Samuel; 1924 - Charlotte Louise Himoe, Ernest Leon Wallace, Helen (Baird) Blackburn, Eunice (Lieb) Craig, Carolyn Edmundson, Ruth Smith, Isabelle (McEwen) Miller, Carroll Newsom, Mary (Van Doren) Huggins; 1925 - Mary Alice (Glassen) Townsend, Edith (Worthington) Randles, Bertha (Hanson) Trechsel, Evelyn (Elliot) LeBarron, Alice (Dillman) Goble, Velma (McNulty) Ewalt, Wilhemina (Picket) Bell, Elizabeth (Smith) Edwards, Mabel Welmer, Mabel (Reynolds) Rees, Mildred (Smith) Montgomery, Helen (Cropper) Snow; 1926 - Mabel (Barnaby) Steward, Orlo Choguill, Clara (Burri) Swarner, Loela (Wood) Crane, Bessie Tressler, Leilyn Cox, Sarah Edna (Locke) Lee, Ruth (Carbaugh) Fulton, Lee Goldsmith, Louise (Cox) Starkey, Helen (King) Jesse, Lois (Jacquith) Irwin; 1927 - Harold Choguill, Alia Wesley, Reid Hemphill, Gertrude (White) Smalley, Doris (Dodge) Stout, Mildred (Christy) Berkshire, Donald Pierson, Carol (Thomas) Jones, Edna (Long) Johnson, Leslie Stewart, Viona Ewalt, Lucy (Tolley) Lewis; 1928 - Mary Humphries, Esther (Sloan) Mergler, Bessie (Dashen) Foster, Louise (Pitney) Herrman, Eleanor (Kerr) Barrett, Marston McCluggage, Paul Strickler, Edna (Phillips) Channell; 1929 -Kenneth E. Monfore, Florence C. Ranson, Ardith M (Mills) Cox, Mary E. (Loofboro) Gordon, Eleanor (Perry) Stubbs, Paul G. Murphy, Grace E. (Weaver) Merten, Renzo Takumi.

Athena Society Members 1930 - 1939

1930 - Virginia (Brigden) Taylor, Frank Hoecker, Ruth (Gannon) Johnson, Isla (Griffith) Swarner, Adeline (Hovgard) Harper, Clarice (McKinney) Stout, Helen (Cannon) Bice, Florence Gates, Edith (Staley) Huston; 1931 - Howard C. Spencer, Jean (Irwin) Holmes, Margaret Frances (Spencer) Patton, Marjorie (Finley) Batson, J. David Bechtel, Grace E. (Palmer) Onstead, Esther (Phipps) Bestvater; 1932 - Frances Bolen, Mary (Morgan) Frank, Kathleen (Elliott) Hyde, Joseph Burns, Gervalse E. Monfore, Josephine (Kerr) Smith, Thais (Stover) Traxel, Benjamin W. Fuson; 1933 - Cornelia (Fields) Vandervelde, Rosa E. (Fuller) Thompson, Martha Lucille (McMullen) Koons, Frances Alberta Hamman, Lois May (Huling) Rhodes, Helen Ruth (Gold) Lawrence, Martha Heaton; 1934 - Helen Leone (Fuson) Finley, Nelson Fuson, Paul M. Frank, Dale R. Corson, Isabel Marie (McElvain) Julien, Lucille (Irwin) Arnott, Harold E. Poole, Mary Laurella (Prather) Bechtel, Charlotte Rozetta (Merry) Miller; 1935 - Martha (Ihde) Schaffner, Gertrude Schultz Fallor, Keith Bondurant, Mary E. (Crawford) Eldson, Nellie (Corson) Griswold, Norma Horner; 1936 - Burdge Irelan, Thelma Pyle, Frances (Vandervelde) Onstad, Katherine (Hawthorne) Webb, Iris (Koch) Morris, Rhea (Bush) Little; 1937 - Constance (Moon) Arnold, Roberta (Daniel) Wilson, Marjorie (Maddock) Irwin, Sara J. (Smith ) Blaney; 1938 - Lois (Previtt) Griswold, Alice (Arms) Wells, Janet Ballinger, Bernhard E. Oldon; 1939 - Walter Peterson, Anna (Peterson) Culp, Martha Ann (Wagar) Roberts, Esther Vandervelde, Lane Duff, Margaret (Busselle) Kieferle.

Athena Society Members 1940 - 1949

1940 - Daniel Hirschler, Jr., Helen (Suffecool) Horak, Kenneth Cooper, Frances (Price) Burford, Charles Hopper, Robert McClure, Virginia (Peterman) Spellman; 1941 - Jean (Chaney) Pettijohn, Elaine (Moseson) Anderson, Ella (Nomland) Kube, Alta (Rutland) Harries, Jack Baird, Kenneth Machenthun, Vera (LeGreslay) Bible, Hope (Cookson) Crowder, Margaret (Smith) Bishop; 1942 - Arnold Olson, Merton Wisler, Rhea (Thurston) Pendergraft, Virginia Endly, Dorothy (Meyer) Ebright, Ardis (Manschreck) Taylor; 1943 - Lois (Doyal) Crowder, Donald Lloyd, Dena Monroe, Ruth Wood; 1944 - Frances (Umdenstock) Latimer; 1945 - Marguerite Helen Day, Constance (Spear) Brown; 1946 - Virgil Megill, Jr., Lois (Anthon) McFerrin; 1947 - Frances (Ezzell) Dunham, Elinor Brown Porter, Joyce (Brown) Herrmann; 1948 - Faye (Weaner) Key, Mary Elia (Frieburg) Works, Florence (Anderson) Strickler; 1949 - Leslie Anders, Fred E. Brown, Loren Dale Wallace, Margaret Jean (Magill) Keraus, Robert H. Rogers.

Athena Society Members 1950 - 1959

1950 - Charlotte (Kappelmann) Umland, JoAnn Root, Katheryn (Dehlinger) Swedberg, Mary Lou (Wilson) Pemberton; 1951 - Perry Hunsley, Avery Manchester; 1952 - Paula (Fankhouser) Painter; 1953 - Ina Floy (Good) Geier, Madeline (Penland) Crosley; 1954 - Barbara (Roenik) Hart, Dorothy (Swift) Liewelyn, Shirley (Kirk) Homewood, Elaine (Thompson) Dalgliesh; 1955 - none; 1956 - Robert Bruce Brigden, Richard George Studer; 1957 - Lorene (Frazell) Small, Young Sil Kahn; 1958 - Verla (Hoke) Howland, Virginia (Fox) Abbott; 1959 - Nancy (Arnett) Larson, Harriet (Adamson) Wilkins.

Athena Society Members 1960 - 1969

1960 - Kenny Miller, Gary Larson; 1961 - Maurice "Lefty" Higgins; 1962 - Norma (Keenan) Hall; 1963 - Dr. Robert Motley; 1964 - L. J. Corcoran, Diane Ledinski, Robert Charles Morrison 1965 - Dr. Andreas Vikis, Theodorus Vernardakis, Sharon (Spencer) Stewart; 1966 - Ruth (Hawk) Yoder, Dan Hudson, Dagmar (Kosack) Rutzen; 1967 - Dr. Gary Monnard; 1968 - Charlotte (Anders) Wilson; 1969 - Allen Gill.

Athena Society Members 1970 - 1973

1970 - Bert Holmes; 1971 - Robert Scott; 1972 - Emil Frank Milosz, 1973 - Larry Shirk, Bill R. Scott.

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